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Brookings Bloggers Bore Blogging Bloggers

The Brookings Institution Impact of the New Media discussion panel is notable for the topic and the fact that they were smart enough to get a good cross section of bloggers to "live blog" the panel discussion. In fact the whole event would have been notably more interesting if the panel of live bloggers were the speaking panel, since of the two "bloggers" on the panel both are on hiatus working on other projects, and one (Andrew Sullivan) was 1/2 hour late. Here's a smattering of reaction to the webcast


Captain Ed, who live blogged the panel discussion, makes the following point:

EJ [Dione] refers to there being no true liberal bloggers on the panel. I'd also add that there are no true conservative bloggers on the panel, either. What we have are the "establishment" bloggers, the ones who usually get featured on programs like this. The difference is the live-bloggers invited, which does have a good representative spectrum.
When Ana Marie Cox and Andrew Sullivan are your representatives of blogs you've get a credibility problem right away, since neither blog much anymore.

Juan Cole, in his limitted blogging of the event, manages to say this about Iranian bloggers "they aren't important politically," in a blog response to an Andrew Sullivan point. That's not surprising from a liberal professor who called Iranian elections the "freest" in the world, and the Iraqi elections a failure.

Daniel Drezner and Laura Rozen have much more live blogging. Rudy Teixeira at DonkeyRising sums up the event:

Looking over the various points I posted about above, I guess I'd have to say that nothing particularly earth-shaking was said today. The discussion was generally interesting and certainly blogs were treated very respectfully as a new member of the media universe.

Perhaps that's the real news here: blogging has now developed a high enough profile and plays a big enough role in society that it can be the subject of a very pleasant and characteristically earnest Brookings event.

Fair enough...

As noted in the comment section, the Queen of Ass-Fucking jokes has been hiding some considerable, er.. "talents." The Terri Hatcher line from Seinfeld seem most appropriate, "They're real, and they're spectacular"


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Brookings Bloggers Bore Blogging Bloggers:

» Joe's Dartblog linked with Wonkette's Assets

» My Foot. Your Ass. linked with What a Fucking Cunt

Comments (23)

Does Ana Marie Cox have a g... (Below threshold)
Tbone:

Does Ana Marie Cox have a great set of knockers or what?

Imagine the criteria involv... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Imagine the criteria involved that includes WONKETTE/Cox as "a blog"/blogger...

She's entertaining, certainly but not a blogger creating/maintain a blog. She has an entertaining website but it's not a blog. Whoever continues to pose her as a blogger with Wonkette as being a blog continues to display that they do not comprehend the genre, the format.

Such that what we now have is the preposterous group of nonbloggers (or in Wonkette's case, the artificial blog, the impersonation of...some form of theatre, at least) being referred to repeatedly as of this day as references to blogging, and yet not actually blogging but offering the pretense of that...

I've decided what it is is the seeping of TNYT form of theatrics-as-journalism, among that by others, into the internet. Seep, seep, layer after layer, pretense after pretense and suddenly, presto, you have the remake of the series from 1995 and Neo discovers another generation of machines beneath Zion who are in bed with their employers at the film studio but hiding that fact from anyone with a microphone, while, meanwhile, among the Dean campaign there is...

What is it, again, that is continuing to focus certain attention on Wonkette, Sullivan and others similar? I mean, what point cannot these organizers get? I think it indicates such a drastic disconnect by those making these inclusions as to prove that the issue of blogging is beyond their scope. Meanwhile, credible blogs and credible bloggers remain unmentioned, unmentionable perhaps among those focused preposterously on Cox and Sullivan.

Not to diss what it is that they do (Cox and Sullivan and others similar), just that what they do is not blogging but create content for commercial websites. Not complicated to understand. That they use the word, "blog," somewhere on their sites does not make them bloggers, nor their sites blogs and the full effect of their creativity is instead overlooked, to conclude this with an upbeat note about the featured two.

But, the same folks evaluat... (Below threshold)
-S-:

But, the same folks evaluated Michael Moore as being "a documentary filmmaker," and "F:9/11" as being "a documentary," so it appears there's a spreading perceptual problem among most in media, and that the problem is persistent.

I'm thinking now about the woman from Japan who travelled all the way to Minnesota after seeing the film, "Fargo," believing that she'd uncover the hidden bag o' dollars at a fencepost along a highway she'd seen in that film.

Some people believe anything. I have a problem with them when they don't indicate that they recognize their faulty perceptions.

Tbone, you stole my thunder... (Below threshold)
mark m:

Tbone, you stole my thunder...NICE raction Anna has.

bad boob job, they shouldn'... (Below threshold)

bad boob job, they shouldn't separate like that.

Gabriel, what are your cr... (Below threshold)
mark m:

Gabriel, what are your credentials for making such an incorrect statement??. They are real...i know real.

If you squint you can almos... (Below threshold)
moseby:

If you squint you can almost see some titty-boners. Shoulda had the thermostat lowered a bit more....

I predict great things for ... (Below threshold)

I predict great things for this thread... We're bound to hit new lows it tastefulness.

Damn the torpedo's (pun intended), full speed ahead!

Wonkette and Sullivan keep ... (Below threshold)
Darkmage:

Wonkette and Sullivan keep getting interviewed by the MSM because Wonkette and Sullivan are the closest thing to what the MSM can understand. The MSM is a full-time job that does its best to attract advertisers by providing entertainment and what it thinks the consumer wants. That describes Sullivan and Wonkette in a nutshell. In return, the creators of that content get money and continue to live off the fruit of their efforts at creating content.

That isn't what the majority of high-quality blogs are... but as we've seen time and time again, the MSM doesn't understand what blogs are. As a result, they reach out for what they do understand.

-S-, are you saying that th... (Below threshold)

-S-, are you saying that their blogs aren't blogs because they don't support community features like trackbacks and comments? Or that they're not blogs because they're not commercial?

Outside of my personal blog, I also work for a "corporate" blog (http://www.bloggingbaby.com/). I consider us a "real blog", even if we are a commercial enterprise. We support comments, interact with our audience and the blog community, and let our personalities show in our commentary.

I do agree with you, however, that both Cox and Sullivan are overhyped. But man - that IS a nice rack...

Yeah, Darkmage, I concur. ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Yeah, Darkmage, I concur. I wrote about the very same thing a while ago, here, some long-earlier thread.

The MM applies and projects it's own 'standard' (that is very difficult for me to write that word in that context) where blogging and bloggers are concerned, thus perpetuating both proof of the lack of comprehension by the MM and the insistence by the MM on their inaccuracies as accuracies...either by intention or by lack of competency, the MM continues to disprove that it's a reliable source of information and this ruse about blogging is a great example of that.

Preposterous that they'd hold Wonkette and Sullivan up as referential examples of what blogging/bloggers are about, when these are two prime examples of just what blogging/bloggers are not. It's a crazy dance, no doubt about that.

Well, Brookings Institute a... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Well, Brookings Institute and Teresa Heinz...I am suddenly falling asleep with this topic, perceiving it as trying to explain to the deaf what jingle bells sound like.

So bloggers aren't supposed... (Below threshold)

So bloggers aren't supposed to make money? Quite a bizarre stance for a pack of free-market-loving conservatives, doncha think?

So a blogger who sports advertising isn't a "real" blogger? A blogger who's writing to promote his or her book isn't a "real" blogger? I hope that's not what you two mean, because that's a liberal, anti-capitalist crock of shit.

Correct me if I'm wrong, bu... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't both of them Queens and well versed in being on the receiving end of all things anal?

Saying that Sullivan and Co... (Below threshold)

Saying that Sullivan and Cox are independent from the MSM is like saying that Lebanon is independent from Syria.

These two are such tools that Craftsman has a lifetime warranty on each.

I couldn't help but think a... (Below threshold)
Bill:

I couldn't help but think as I saw your post and the pics of Wonkette and Sullivan that even though they are the two political bloggers most associated with topics related to sex, you would never ever actually Ann Marie Cox on top of Andrew Sullivan.

I think I saw a South Park ... (Below threshold)

I think I saw a South Park episode dealing with this recently...

Some of you guys are so Tit... (Below threshold)
JD:

Some of you guys are so Tit-hungry you are blind.

Quoting Teri Hatcher and attributing it to Wank-ette is an out-and-out insult to Teri.

Five'll get you twenty that Ana was, how shall we say, a tad bit pudgier in a past life. She has all the hallmarks of a gal who used to be HUUUUUGE but lost weight. Trouble is, what she has, sags.

Her rack, without any kind of support, would hang down probably below her navel. I'll bet she has crevasses in her shoulders from the weight her bra is required to carry.

Girl needs a lift and reduction - bad.

I'm with you JD. Bow-wow-wo... (Below threshold)
Jack Tanner:

I'm with you JD. Bow-wow-wow. It's like when my buddy asked me if there were any hotties in the IT Dept. Yeah, like Hollywood Blvd. man.

So she used to be a fat gir... (Below threshold)
Tdp:

So she used to be a fat girl....you know what they say about fat girls in the sack. She would be a shitty lay but would give great head (cause fat girls are good with their mouths...cause they like to eat and cause most dudes will take a BJ from a fattie but not bang one).

The Zero Boss: no, that is... (Below threshold)
-S-:

The Zero Boss: no, that is not what I "meant" -- as in, I did not opine nor do I believe that to make a profit, one cannot be catagorized as being a "blogger" nor that blogging as format and genre are not genuine in relationship to site economics.

It's about presence and content and site composition and maintenance, even. In the case of Wonkette, or so I read is the case, a company created domains and a media organization and then searched out for employees to "man/woman" ("author") those sites, employees to pose as bloggers. Cox was recruited to "blog" and didn't present herself as such but just appeared with her offerings and was later outed or revealed to be an employee of someone who created and maintained "her" website, with Cox simply typing out content with the larger company support of information, resources, etc.

That doesn't equate in any fashion with a mere individual starting from scratch, learning their way along the way, creating what they publish and how they do that, making adaptations and changes and all that, for the motivation of writing their opinions and sharing their perspectives on a single-author site.

There's a graduation of blogging that now includes multiple author sites (I enjoy those as I do Wizbang and others of similar author composition) but the sites publish contributors and actually identify authors and attribute content. When you have, by comparison, an employee misrepresenting their presence as a lone individual (while not being so, as was and did Cox) enjoying the helps of an organizational research and content organization, someone else managing the website and all those details, what you have is a website dedicated to entertaining and/or media, entertainment, information, etc., but it's not a blog nor is the author involved blogging -- they're producing content for a salary, they're working, it's work, it's not individual activity and expression for the sake of creative effort (which blogging is, even when there's profit involved -- for the record, I like profit, profit is good, capitalism is supported and endorced by me, I have no problem with earning money).

Sullivan was discovered on the internet to be having been paid to "blog" also, and it wasn't, to my understanding, something he made known to his readers over time but the information was revealed by either inducement or exposure afterward, that his site had been the product of a financial incentive. As in, someone offered him a financial incentive to write about...politics (or whatever their interest might be but in Sullivan's case, it was the Democratic Party, Liberal interests, although I don't at this writing recall the source, one related to the DNC and the product they wanted to promote was Democratic Party politics and candidates from among the DNC and they paid Sullivan to write and Sullivan did).

Sullivan also maintained all that while an ongoing "donate to me" plea and many readers devoted some many thousands of dollars over time to Sullivan such that after the election, his paid arrangements were revealed, he declared his site was being redesigned (by someone else) and that he was taking time off to travel in Europe, thanks to the many thousands of dollars he'd received, and indicated he planned to return to his website afterward, but I don't know and at this point don't want to know what his employment status will be or even is now).

Point is, these are two individuals who were commercially sponsored in their entirety and their sites are not their sites as to individual creation but the commercial sites of other organizations on which Cox and Sullivan write copy.

Which is fine and all, just that it was never straightforward, was never an announced arrangement and many folks took their advances in page visits and higher profile publicity (enjoyed due to their media sponsored sites, visible in retrospect) as being some phenomenon gained because of their "blogging" talent, when what it was later revealed as was simply commercial achievement, organizations capitalizing via charade/imitation, if you will, on the reader affinity for blogs).

What I found offensive about both of them, and still do, is the insincerity of the site creations, contributions and maintenance. It's one thing to create a commercial website -- no problem with that -- but it's another thing to not reveal, divulge that to the reader, to the public, at least not in any noticable presence that most casual readers can notice.

Coupled with the fact that Sullivan, particularly, actually earned a great deal of money from gullible reader contributions and later sprung upon readers that he'd been accepting payment all along from political interests...which means his appearance of "individual political thought" was, in fact, the paid (and therefore, professional) copy furthering ideas important to a political party, however legally, still commercial effort, a dedicated commercial effort, not a blog as most people assume blogging to be.

A lot of people who are employed blog. But the genre of blogging is expected to be of the personal kind, people of whatever economic relationships writing about their ideas and thoughts on their own time for their own reasons on a website they create and maintain themselves. Otherwise, go to work, get the IT and Design Departments to arrange your internet presence and then maintain it and then hire editors and researchers and someone to transcribe your tapes onto the internet and enjoy the commercial rewards of seeing a business presence maintained professionally.

There is a difference between the two genres, between a commercial website and a blogger, even bloggers making profits, enjoying commerce, on their website(s).

But it has nothing to do with whether or not someone earns income from their site or not but how the site is organized and maintained.

And, last thing, the Brooki... (Below threshold)
-S-:

And, last thing, the Brookings Institute is Teresa Heinz's pet rock affiliation, one to which she provides a whole lot of money to each and every year. Nothing wrong inherently in that, but that the Brookings Institute then would attempt to promote Sullivan and Cox as being the epitome or representational of what bloggers are and how, is preposterous!

What it probably indicates is that the money trail ends up with the Brookings Institute and that Cox and Sullivan and who knows how many others like them who have yet to be discovered, if at all, are among the paid/employees of a money stream that, um, endorses, well, dishonesty, misrepresentation, or perhaps it's a new form of theatre, I just don't know at this point.

So bloggers aren't suppo... (Below threshold)
Darkmage:

So bloggers aren't supposed to make money? Quite a bizarre stance for a pack of free-market-loving conservatives, doncha think?

So a blogger who sports advertising isn't a "real" blogger? A blogger who's writing to promote his or her book isn't a "real" blogger? I hope that's not what you two mean, because that's a liberal, anti-capitalist crock of shit.

I wish to concur with what -S- said, but in a bit more concise manner. Sullivan and Wonkette write for a living. That's how they maintain their lifestyle, pay their bills, describe themselves on their resumes. The fact that they publish in a blog format is about the only thing that they have in common with what I consider to be the common definition of "bloggers".

Quick note: This is not a bad thing. More power to them. Heavens knows, we need more anal sex jokes...

However, the issue I take is with the MSM running to Sullivan and Wonkette every time they need a quote or perspective from a blogger. Two individuals who definitely do NOT represent the majority of bloggers out there, and do not represent even the majority of high-quality blogs that have brought blogging to the attention of the unplugged masses.

I submit that the MSM does this because 1) As professional writers, these two are always available for quotes because being available for quotes IS their day job; and 2) They understand the business model that these two work under, instead of the more common model such as this web site, Power Line, Instapundit, Little Green Footballs, etc. operate on. As such, they feel comfortable without having to go around and around on the question of "Uh... okay, you broke yet another story... why did you do this again?" and finally 3) Sullivan and Wonkette are safely liberal and won't make them confront icky conservative thought.

The MSM can "grok" writing for a living. They do it themselves, so they can see these two as trendy, hip versions of themselves, writing in this new internet thingy. What is sad, sad I say, is that they are misrepresenting most of the blogosphere.




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